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Short Description


Inspired by a true story, The Fire Within is one woman’s journey of adversity, resilience, and triumph. Growing up in the sixties, in an era of extremes, where feminism, ‘free love’ and freer spending were common… Receiving love, affection, guidance, encouragement, or even financial advice, for Janet, was as rare as winning the lottery… While racism, colorism, and sexism ruled the day.

The Fire Within delves deep into Janet’s soul and delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of socialized, low self-esteem, discrimination, deceit, disheveled money management, mental abuse, and loss… When life-altering, occurrences threaten to kill… Janet struggles through and survives the storm. Her enduring faith and willingness to rise above seemingly insurmountable odds is a testament to her resolve! Janet offers insightful consolation to women hurting everywhere.  

Discover her triumph and read how Janet’s life journey sparked a blaze that illuminated The Fire Within.

In Author's words...


The reason for writing The Fire Within, is to spread hope and be a blessing to hurting mothers, women, and men everywhere. After losing my daughter and grandson, I wanted to tell the story of loss from a mother’s vantage point. And though writing the book was very painful, emotional and took me nine (9) years to complete, when it was finished I felt a sense of relief and joy realizing that others would be blessed by understanding why they were stuck in certain areas of their lives.

 Anyone who has suffered mental abuse, loss of a child/children, fallen on hard times and just wants to understand how to get through enormous challenges… Will be blessed by reading The Fire Within.

Retail Locations

Places to buy the book

  • BLACK ART PLUS: 43 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
  • UJAMAA BOOKSTORE: 1493 E. Livingston Ave, Columbus, OH 43205
  • THE BOOK LOFT: 631 South Third Street, Columbus, OH 43206, and
  • ZAWADI BOOKS: 1500 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus, OH 43203

Readers Testimonials


Teresa M. Ferguson – Phenomenal Women, Book Club member, Columbus, OH

“Janet’s story is one of love, forgiveness, generational curses, grief and determination. Read her story and see how she turned it all around.”

Adriene T. Smith– Janet’s eldest grand-daughter, Oakland, CA

” ‘Matriarch Movement’ is how I would describe my grandmother’s journey through the pages of ‘The Fire Within: A journey of adversity, resilience, and triumph’. Learning more of the personal and in-depth details of her struggles further amplifies who she is as Janet M. Smith and not just as Maw-Maw. It is with abundant gratitude and a sense of pride in my maternal grandmother’s achievements to find the strength and courage to tell ‘HerStory’ I read the book from cover to cover in three days, secure in this labor of love that if God were to call her home tomorrow, her contribution to our family and life is complete! I look forward to hearing how this memoir has changed the lives of women in our family and around the world. It is time to fight back, re-tell and rewrite our history – or be written out.

Gloria Joyce – Book Designer, Columbus, OH

“The book cover absolutely took my breath away! It is beautiful!”

Dewayne D. Cupe – Lifelong Friend, Columbus, OH

The Fire Within delves deeply into Janet’s soul and delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of mental abuse… Scars that don’t show… The painful losses she suffered… The unthinkable life-altering occurrences!

Janet offers a blueprint on how to survive and stay in the game of life. Her insightfulness serves as a consolation to women hurting everywhere.

Janet’s strong faith in God and a willingness to rise above her circumstances is a testament to her resolve. Her story encourages the reader to never let die: The Fire Within!

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The Fire Within inspired by a true story of one woman’s journey of adversity, resilience, and triumph.


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